Choux Pastry (Pâte à Choux) Puffs
Prep Time: 20 - 30 mins
Bake Time: 20 - 30 mins
Yields 24 Puffs
Choux patry is versatile. You can get very creative on how you shape and fill them. Choux pastry is what makes eclairs, and puffs that you can fill with cream or whatever your heart desires. When you fry choux pastry, you get churros! Although it may sound challenging, choux pastry is actually quite easy to make, if you follow all the instructions. My method is very easy. It doesn't even require an electric mixer. All you just need a good wooden spatula, a saucepan, and mixing bowls. Here, I'll describe making the pastry and then baking them as puffs! I then fill it with delicious homemade vanilla pastry cream. Happy baking.
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 stick salted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup flour
Filling of your choice. Here, I use about 2 cups of my homemade vanilla creme patissiere
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine milk, water, butter, salt, and sugar until dissolved. Then allow to continue heating until it just starts to boil.
3. Reduce the heat back to medium then add your flour all at once. Immediately start to stir the mixture with a wooden spatula as the flour cooks. Continue to stir, your flour will absorb all the liquid and start to become a sticky ball, like play-doh. Continue cooking and stirring until the dough hold together structurally and begins to leave a film of dough at the bottom of the pot. This shows that you have cooked off the excess moisture.
4. Take the saucepan off the heat. Spread the mixture around the saucepan with the spatula. This allows the steam in the cooked dough to vent.
5. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and let to cool for a few more minutes.
Note: You want the dough cooled to avoid cooking the eggs that you add in the next step. The dough should be warm, not hot.
6. Add one egg to the dough and mix it in with a spatula until completely combined. Repeat with the next egg, one at a time until all 4 eggs are incorporated into the dough. At the end of this step, you will have dough of pipe-able consistency. See video above.
7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
8. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and transfer dough to the pastry bag. I used a 1/2 inch round tip. You may also pipe without a tip. Just cut a hole at the tip of the pastry bag.
9. Pipe 1.5 to 2 inch size mounds. I was able to do 12 per half baking sheet. Leave about 3 inch of space between each mound. Wet your finger tips with water and push down to flatten the peaks of the piped dough. This prevents the part that is sticking out from burning in the oven.
10. Bake at 375°F for 20 - 30 minutes. The pastry will puff significantly. They are done when they are brown.
11. Take them out, let them cool for a few minutes on a wire rack and fill them with your choice filling. Options are unlimited. Some include creme patissiere, whipped cream, ice-cream. You can also drizzle the top with chocolate.
Note: Well baked choux pastry is hollow in the inside as you can see from this picture.
To fill the pastry, poke a small hole in the side. For less mess, use a pastry bag (with your choice filling) fitted with a small tip.